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Recruiting rundown: “Big three” unsigned players winding recruitments down

Anthony Bennett, T.J. Warren

West’s Anthony Bennett, from Brampton, Ontario, dunks over McDonald’s East All-American T.J. Warren, (24) from Durham, N.C., during the first half of the McDonald’s All-American boys’ basketball game Wednesday, March 28, 2012, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)


Three top-25 players still remain on the board in the 2012 class, but there doesn’t appear to be much separating the prospects from their final decision.

Wing forward Devonta Pollard of Mississippi, Philadelphia power forward Amile Jefferson and Canadian power forward Anthony Bennett are the players of note that haven’t decided, but final word from each could be around the corner.

The most surprising of the three players was the recent news at 6-7 power forward Anthony Bennett, a top Canadian prospect that played at Findlay Prep (Nev.) narrowed his list to just UNLV and Oregon, eliminating Florida and Kentucky. Though he was on Oregon’s campus unofficially during April’s Hoop Summit, many believe that UNLV is the frontrunner to keep Bennett in Vegas.

Bennett’s teammate point guard Dominic Artis has signed with Oregon and the top Canadian player in the class before him, Khem Birch, transferred from Pitt to UNLV. Bennett is physically ready to compete wherever he goes, and if his Twitter account is to be believed, a decision could come this weekend.

Devonta Pollard, a bouncy wing prospect started the process late, but by process of elimination is seems as if some of his options have diminished. His original list included Mississippi State, Texas, Missouri, Alabama and Georgetown.

From that group, Mississippi State replaced the coaches that were recruiting him, Missouri appears to have filled all of its scholarships with Tuesday’s addition of Jordan Clarkson, and Georgetown lost recruiting dynamo assistant coach Robert Kirby to LSU.

Logic dictates that Texas and Alabama may have risen to the top, but there is nothing that necessitates that Pollard sign before the end of the regular signing period. If he is unable to make a decision, he can sign scholarship papers and not a letter of intent. That could leave the door open for Kirby to potentially make a last minute pitch for LSU to Pollard.

For approaching six months, Amile Jefferson’s decisions has been said to be imminent. No player has had more rumored press conferences to announce spread across the internet, and then not occur. The initial thinking was that Jefferson was waiting to see what CJ Leslie (NC State) and Mason Plumlee (Duke) were going to decide about NBA early entry, but since those decisions have been made, nothing has broken free. It’s also safe to assume that he has become much more significant to Kentucky, given that Bennett is no longer considering the Wildcats.

There’s also the possibility that Ohio State or Villanova lands Jefferson, but the strong buzz has seemed to alternate between NC State and Duke over the last several months. It appears as if Jefferson cannot decide at this point, but then again, there doesn’t seem to be much more information that can be gathered before he inks.